MANI MATTERS! - Siddharth helps CSG win over SS

After losing its first two matches, Chepauk, the most successful franchise in TNPL, notched up its fourth consecutive win to move up to second in the points table.
Chepauk’s Manimaran Siddharth celebrates taking a wicket. Siddharth was named player of the match
Chepauk’s Manimaran Siddharth celebrates taking a wicket. Siddharth was named player of the match

SALEM: Riding on a brilliant performance from Manimaran Siddharth, defending champion Chepauk Super Gillies notched up a seven-wicket win over Salem Spartans in the TNPL here on Tuesday. After losing its first two matches, Chepauk, the most successful franchise in TNPL, notched up its fourth consecutive win to move up to second in the points table.

With one more game left, it is wellplaced to reaching yet another playoffs. Salem, meanwhile, has slumped to its fifth straight defeat and is yet to open its account after five matches. Not surprisingly, the lanky Siddharth was awarded the man of the match for his bowling exploits.

Set to chase a modest score of 114, Chepauk broke little sweat in getting there with openers N Jagadeesan and

M Kaushik Gandhi putting on 89 runs in 12.5 overs. At that stage, it looked as though a 10-wicket victory was on the cards but Jagadeesan got out for 39 (33b, 5x4) to left-arm spinner Ravi Karthikeyan. In the next over, captain Kaushik perished to leg-spinner M Ashwin for 46 (45b, 3x4, 2x6). Two soon became three with U Sasidev falling cheaply three balls later to send some jitters in the Chepauk dug-out. But all-rounder Sonu Yadav quelled those jitters by finishing off the proceedings hitting three successive sixes off Daryl Ferrario to remain unbeaten on 26 (7b, 1x4, 3x6). Chepauk reached its target with 31 balls to spare.

Earlier, Chepauk won the toss and invited the opposition to bat first. The Salem openers commenced with a steady start before Chepauk’s Siddharth wreaked havoc in the fifth over sending back Jaffar Jamal (6 runs off 11 balls), Akshay V Srinivasan (0 runs off 1 ball) and key batsman Daryl S Ferrario (0 runs off 3 balls) in a span of five balls.

The Salem Spartans were pushed back to a defensive mindset after losing three key wickets in the powerplay. As the wickets kept tumbling at the other end, opener KH Gopinath held the innings together with a steady 45-ball 42 before mistiming a lofted shot off R Alexander to S Radhakrishnan at long off in the 16th over. With this feat, Alexander became only the fifth bowler in TNPL history to pick up 50 wickets.

Chepauk’s spinners were in top form, keeping things tight and restricted the Salem batters. The team’s spinners took 5 wickets between them with M Siddharth (3/13) undoubtedly the pick of the bowlers.

In the end, the Salem Spartans managed to put up 113/6 in its allotted 20 overs courtesy of fighting contributions from S Abishiek (23* runs off 27 balls) and skipper Ashwin M (14* runs from 7 balls).

BRIEF SCORES: Salem Spartans 113/6 in 20 overs (H Gopinath 42, M Siddharth 3/13) lost to Chepauk Super Gillies 117/3 in 14.5 overs (Kaushik Gandhi 46, N Jagadeesan 39)

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